Review: Wattam

About this Game

Wattam

Publisher

Annapurna Interactive

Developer

Funomena

Release Date

December 17, 2019

Console

PlayStation 4

Time to Plat

~5-7h (glitches can extend this dramatically)

Platinum Difficulty

Easy

Online Trophies?

No

Difficulty Trophies?

No

Follow Us

Wattam I gonna do about these Glitches?

Brought to you by the creators of the excellent Katamari series, as well as Noby Noby Boy which has a funny name but I’ve never played it. 

I’ve been looking forward to this game since I heard the Katamari team were on with a new project, and so I had pretty high hopes… How did that turn out then?

Wattam Review

Eat, Poop, Kaboom, Repeat.

In Wattam, you start off as the Mayor who is very lonely and doesn’t understand why. Not long after this you get your first friend, a small rock, and enjoy an adorable sequence where they happily play tag with each other giggling the whole time. It is very touching!

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What a cute little rock!

Slowly but surely, your friend circle grows more and more as objects join you on your small island.

Each island is based around a Season, starting with spring, and follows a similar progression. You will start out with a small quest, get some more guests who will typically have another quest for you. This will lead to the phone character getting a call which leads on to the next Seasonal island. 

It sounds pretty same-y but actually the quests can vary dramatically, from trying to stack your way up to the sun, to becoming a small-time detective and helping to find some lost kids. It’s all very quirky and unexpected stuff to keep you on your toes and avoid things getting stale.

Certain characters have their own abilities, for example, the Trees can eat characters and turn them into fruit characters (sometimes these fruit are not very fruit-like). The mouth character can then eat those fruit characters and turn them into Poop characters. The toilet character loves poop characters and will flush them, turning them into golden poops who no longer smell bad to the other characters… Polishing a turd, basically.

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I think I’d be questioning things too, if I’d been turned into an onion and my friends were now large poops.

These skills will be useful in a variety of ways when it comes to solving the small quests available on each island and therefore progressing through the game.

The most important ability, however, belongs to the mayor. Under his hat hides a “Magic Bomb” which will “Kaboom” him and any nearby critters, sending them soaring and leaving behind smoke trails giggling as they go. This is often how the Mayor makes new friends and new characters will frequently get very excited at the prospect of being blown up. 

The game is simply filled with childish fun and happiness, everyone giggles and cheers their way through everything and you can’t help but feel a little happier just for playing it.

There’s actually a Story, yes.

Indeed, in this world full of child-like wonder and joy, there is a story. A touching and deep story, touching on togetherness and how that leads to happiness. The story is told via objects you might expect would hold information and you’re treated to small heavily-stylised animatics which take you through the events of the story, which at times can be a little dark.

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Ominous!

The story includes several main characters who will join your cast and help you discover not only the Mayor’s past, but the history of the mysterious land you’re exploring and information about how things came to end up this way.

It is still teeming with the quirkiness you can find in every other aspect of the game, but it simply gets more serious here and there to help bring more life to the game and its individual characters.

Polishing Turds

So far so good, right? Fun little game, cute art style, lots of Japanese humour to be found, what’s not to love?

Well, the game is actually incredibly glitchy. I had multiple experiences where a character got lost or launched out into space, or an objective wouldn’t complete despite me completing the requirements.

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Once done with their scripted animations, these characters pinged off each other faster than you can say “Sushi Comet”.

I wasn’t just having bad luck either, because there are plenty of people on the internet sharing their own similar tales of woe with the game. It is a real shame, too, because the developers but a lot of love into the game, and you can see it in the little things.

For example, the cutesy and charming music in the game will change slightly depending on which object you’re in control of. For example, the Toilet will make the music include more trumpets and fart-like instruments. Using the skeleton will result in more xylophone usage. Just subtle things like that which help to bring everything to life.

Right before it comes crashing down when your game crashes.

Again, such a shame.

My Wattam Trophy Experience

Initial Playthrough

My initial playthrough of Wattam was actually a lot of fun. I stopped at certain points in the story to check the trophy list and see which objectives I might be able to complete at each point, for example, there’s a trophy which mentions sushi so you can bet your best boxers I was trying to pop that trophy as soon as I saw some sushi characters.

I hated that trophy by the way. The sushi characters had minds of their own and kept moving away from where I needed them to be. I felt like I was corralling hyper-active mice in the middle of a cheese farm. They wanted to be anywhere but where I was trying to get them to be.

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To say I yelled would not be inaccurate.

There were also a lot of trophies which I could tell would be long grinds, like eating 100 times or going “Kaboom” 100 times, so I was just slowly chipping away at those as I played, hoping to make some solid progress for when I was done.

In around 4 hours I was watching the credits roll and had around 10 trophies left, some of the more grind-y ones as well as a handful of miscellaneous ones.

Miscellaneous Clean-up

With the game completed, I went around to collect the last few characters I needed for my collection and did the things like measuring the smallest character, putting three characters to sleep at once and stacking 40m high.

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Pretty precarious.

I made excellent progress and managed to simply get down to the trophies which required me to do certain things 100 times and one which required me to make every character gold.

I started to get a strange feeling something was going to go wrong, as the “eat 100 meals” and “Kaboom 100 Times” trophies popped, All I had left was to turn everything gold (which I had been kind of doing as I went) and to poop 101 times. 

I have no idea how I managed to eat 100 times without also pooping 100 times, but I still needed to poop about 40-50 more times so maybe eating as a tree counts as well as eating as the mouth character. I got a bit bored of grinding out all these poops so decided I’d go for the Struck Gold trophy. Only to find that a horrible glitch had occurred.

The Snowman character was nowhere to be found. Whether he’d melted or just rolled so far off into space that he just no longer existed, he was greyed-out in the collection and was completely un-selectable. I kept going, hoping that maybe the Snowman didn’t need to be gold… I spent an hour, turning things gold and trying to find ways to do it to things which didn’t need to be – and couldn’t be – turned to gold before accepting that this was a plat-breaking glitch and I would need to play the whole game again.

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I never thought I’d write a review with the word “Poop” in it so much…

I finished doing 101 poops, which left just the one “Struck Gold” trophy left and then decided to take a break. I cleaned my apartment for a couple of hours and then came back to Wattam when I realised that I really had nothing better to do.

Struck Gold Playthrough

My second playthrough was much quicker, but still took around 3 hours to complete, all so I could then spend an hour making everything gold.

My main priority was ensuring that the Snowman didn’t pull a vanishing act on me again so, at frequent intervals, I checked that he was still there and ensured he was still on Winter island so he wouldn’t melt into a snowball (he escaped twice and getting him back as a Snowball was a real ordeal). Whenever everything was okay, I would save the game so that if he did disappear again I had a save to come back to. 

Also, when it came to turning everyone to gold, I put the Pipe character (flushed characters come out of the pipe) on Winter Island. This way, every character I flushed would end up on Winter island, including the Snowman and I wouldn’t accidentally flush him to Summer and melt him to nothing – voiding the trophy again.

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Pure Anarchy!

This turned into utter chaos, as the final few flushes I needed were all on Winter island, which had 100+ characters on it. The frame rate dropped dramatically, for some reason every character I needed to flush was running away from me, characters were pushing each other out into space. Every time I tried to flush a character I needed, the toilet would grab one I didn’t need. I was quickly getting frustrated

In the end, after I’d calmed down and used my head a bit, I placed the toilet in the centre of the Winter level, where he stayed – quite sensibly. I then went through the Collection menu to pick out the ones I needed to turn to gold and then simply had them climb on top of the toilet. I could then just switch to the Toilet and hit blank to flush them, eventually netting myself this final trophy and the platinum. Finally.

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Boy was I happy to see this.

Annoyingly, I am the third-fastest platinum trophy achiever on PSNProfiles but if I didn’t have to do a second playthrough because of that damned Snowman, I would have had the number 1 spot for sure. So, hopefully, by using my guide and its tips for avoiding glitches you’ll be able to snag that top spot!

Time Breakdown

Initial Playthrough

Second Playthrough due to Glitch

Miscellaneous Trophies

Struggling with Glitches

Wattam Trophy Guide

There is a severe lack of good quality Trophy Guides for Wattam out there on the internet which is why I took it upon myself to write one which people will actually find useful.

It includes helpful information about the kinds of glitches you’ll find and how to avoid them, as well as in-depth explanations on how to get all miscellaneous and grind-based trophies.

Here’s hoping it helps out you fellow trophy hunters!

That concludes my Wattam platinum trophy review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

You can follow us on Twitter @GetPlat and Instagram @platget where we’ll be sharing updates, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games we’re working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

Verdict

Play

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The game is fun and definitely had some heart and soul poured into its look and concept which makes it worth checking out and enjoying. However, I can’t recommend you plat it due to the frustration born from the sheer glitchiness of the game. If you can bear to put up with it, then you’re only looking at 6-12 hours of gameplay anyway.

Pros

  • A cute and quirky art style
  • Emphasis on fun and happiness
  • Very unique gameplay

Cons

  • Those unfamiliar with Japanese culture may find the game too crass
  • The game is inundated with time-wasting glitches and bugs
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Silver Trophy

I’m very disappointed. Katamari is one of my favourite game series with an excellent concept, tone and gameplay. The quality of Wattam pales in comparison and the abundance of glitches even now, 4 months after release, is surely unacceptable. However, the parts which do work make for a good game.

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About the Author

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

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